Monkey business as bars celebrate Chinese New Year


yauatcha cocktail

February 8 marks Chinese new year and the start of the year of the monkey. To celebrate, dim sum teahouse Yauatcha in London has teamed up with the aptly named German gin Monkey 47 for a special menu of gin cocktails paired with macarons inspired by the 47 botanicals in the gin.

Yauatcha’s bar team, headed by Hakkasan Group’s senior bar manager Eder Neto, has collaborated with Monkey 47 to create three limited-edition cocktails (pictured): a Saffron Gin and Tonic, the Pomelo Fortune featuring grapefruit, cranberry and mandarin bitters, and Pink Kumquat using sloe gin and ginger liqueur.

Yauatcha’s head pastry chef Sarah Frankland has created six macarons showcasing a selection of the intricate flowers, herbs and spices used to make the gin including Juniper berry, Bitter orange and almond, Elderflower and ginger, Rose and rosehip, Camomile, and Gin and tonic with grapefruit.

The menu is available in the Soho and Broadgate Circle restaurants until February 21.

Northern Chinese restaurant Hutong in The Shard in London is offering a cocktail made with baijiu, the Chinese spirit, as part of its New Year celebrations. Sweet Success combines the baijiu with Cointreau, muddled kumquat, Tapatio tequila, passion fruit syrup and lemon juice.

It is part of a special dinner tonight that will be accompanied by a traditional lion dance, to ward off nian or evil spirits, as well as Chinese musicians and noise-makers and a Chinese calligrapher creating personalised items for guests. Hutong will also offer special Year of the Monkey wishing cards and a traditional sweet box, with all guests receiving a traditional red pocket envelope containing gifts and treats. One lucky table will win the entire cost of their meal for free.

The cocktail also ties in with Baijiu Cocktail Week which is running until February 14 at bars and restaurants across London and beyond. Click here to find out more.

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